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Questionable Quality Case Study 

The Challenge 
Our client a UK manufacturer of high precision equipment experienced serious problems with the supply of injection moulded parts from the Far East. 
 
A key range of components were purchased from their supplier in China on a monthly basis. The components arrived and were inspected appearing to meet specification, therefore were used to manufacture a range of assemblies being sold to end customers. 
 
After approximately six months customer complaints started being received stating the plastic was degrading and products were quite simply falling apart. 
 
The Impact 
Our client's entire product range was compromised which resulted in costly returns and product recalls. Until the root cause could be determined any further sales of the product range was suspended. This caused significant reputational damage. 
 
Root Cause & Solution 
ASM was engaged to do a thorough investigation, it was established that the moulding material had become contaminated in the manufacturing process. A detailed review of the supplier identified it to be a small company which, had to sub-contract many of its processes. The relevant quality controls were not in a place. This company also held over fifty injection moulding tools, owned by the customer, which were not stored in a secure location and had no record of usage or maintenance. 
 
ASM sourced a new supplier with the required quality controls, storage facilities and sufficient capacity to supply. In addition local in-country support was implemented to deal with any supply issues. ASM performed a detailed analysis of the supply base using their online assessment platform, several areas of risk were identified. The UK manufacturer, supported by ASM, implemented a robust SRM program to mitigate these risks building stronger alliances with their suppliers. 
 
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